Bloomberg: Zara’s new anti-theft system is not working properly

Bloomberg: Zara’s new anti-theft system is not working properly


Photo: Afghan National Police

Inditex, the Spanish parent company of clothing chain Zara, has postponed the rollout of a new anti-theft system in its Zara stores. New technology is having teething problems. For example, employees in various countries have already expressed concerns to management that technology could make theft easier, Bloomberg News reported based on informed sources.

CEO Oscar García Maceras unveiled the new technology in March and promised to roll it out for testing in all Zara stores around the world in July, but that has yet to happen. The system uses tiny chips called RFID and is intended to put an end to large hard plastic tags on clothing that cashiers must remove.

According to the sources, initial experiments in some Spanish stores showed that shoplifters were easily able to detect and remove security tags. Another problem is that alarms go off when customers enter the store to return items purchased online.

According to informed sources, the delay in introducing the new system is also partly due to bottlenecks in chip supply. Inditex itself downplayed the problems. According to the group, the process of implementing the new warning system is proceeding according to the established plan and without any significant incidents.

Experts say the new method, in which microchips are placed on labels or in the fabric of clothing, would reduce theft at Inditex by 60 percent. Other retail companies are also stepping up their fight against shoplifting. This increase appears to be due to higher inflation rates.

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The British Retail Consortium recently reported that shoplifting increased by 27 percent last year in the UK’s ten largest cities. Clothing chain Primark also announced on Tuesday that it would deploy more security guards and cameras to combat the phenomenon. US department store chain Nordstrom recently announced that thefts were “historically high” when publishing its quarterly figures.

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